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Haaland residents enjoy afternoon of shopping, lunch

By Sue Sitter - | May 1, 2021

Sue Sitter/PCT Viola Latendresse, left, and Cathy Wolf eye a cart laden with tea sandwiches and petite cheesecakes.

Ladies living at Haaland Estates in Rugby took advantage of a bright spring day recently to shop for colorful costume jewelry and fashion accents in the comfort of their dining room.

“And boy, are they shopping,” said Tammy Tufte, activities director at Haaland Estates.

Tufte said she and activities staffers at the assisted living facility organized the shopping junket to brighten the residents’ spirits.

In the facility’s dining room, “they can take their masks down if they’re sitting at their tables with the same people they sit with every day,” Tufte explained. “Out there (in the rest of the building), they have to wear the masks. So, any activities we do, we do in here.” Residents congregate with small groups of close friends they’ve dined with for the past year and are allowed to socialize without masks, maintaining distances of six feet apart.

“We do bean bag tosses and they can line up and one by one when they take their turns, they can take their masks off,” Tufte said.

The jewelry party was another creative way to have fun and follow health and safety guidelines, Tufte said. “We thought we could bring up their spirits a little bit and let them do their own thing,” she said. “They’re enjoying themselves. They’ll probably go back after they have lunch and look for some more items yet and get some more money.”

Dining room staff served a luncheon of petite tea sandwiches, mini cheesecakes and a variety of beverages.

Activities staff gave the residents “jewelry bucks” and invited them to browse through “all the lovely jewelry that’s been donated to us and some new pieces, too” Tufte said, adding, “We’ll have drawings for jewelry boxes and dolls.”

“They have other shopping opportunities, too,” Tufte said. “They have scarves and hankies,” she added, picking up a delicate handkerchief printed with violets.

“Don’t I have a big bag of goodies? I’ve got all kinds of things,” said Carol Christenson, a resident at Haaland Estates, holding a bag of necklaces in topaz and emerald tones.

Resident Amy Nelson held two strands of faux black and white pearls accented with gold-toned beads. “I bought two necklaces,” she said. “I think they’re pretty.”

An activities staffer helped another resident count out jewelry bucks for a purchase.“If you need a loan, the standing rate is a smile,” she said.

Resident Bernice Saude described the selection of jewelry as “very fine. I’ve got a necklace and a bracelet. I didn’t get any earrings, she said, holding twisted strands of black, white and topaz-toned beads.

“That’s the bracelet, Isn’t it pretty?” Saude asked, holding a gold-toned cuff-style piece set with a black stone. “I’ve got rings, too. It was real fun. I’m enjoying myself,” she added.

Residents Viola Latendresse and Cathy Wolf took a break from shopping to peruse the hors d’oeuvres cart at their table.

“I used to write the Towner news in the paper,” Wolf said. “I wrote for the Mouse River Journal. I’m going to write a big article now that we can get out and I can put something in the paper,” she added, noting restrictions on visiting and movement outside of the facility have eased. “We’re so happy we can go out now. It’s wonderful,” Wolf said.

Tufte said, “I think they enjoyed shopping and visiting, having the festivities and the lunch.”

Haaland residents would next celebrate May Day by making May baskets, Tufte said. “If they get visitors, they can give them to them or they can give them to somebody they choose in here or staff, whatever they’d like to do,” Tufte said. “For Mothers Day, we have things planned too. We’re just going to keep doing what we can do,” Tufte added.

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